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RAPE SUSPECT’S PRIVATE PARTS WHIPPED

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LUSHIKISHINI – A rape suspect was stripped naked and had his private parts whipped with a cane in a bizarre community police operation at Lushikishini, outside Mankayane.

The suspect drew the wrath of the community because though he carried two packets of condoms in his pocket he said he did not use it when he allegedly raped the minor, who is aged 11. These are words he uttered while being interrogated by the mob.

No amount of wailing could deter the enraged community members from using brutal tactics to squeeze information from the suspect, in the presence of his young survivor.

The suspect, who is a South African national, is allegedly a dagga dealer who had illegally crossed the border into Eswatini to buy dagga.

After the jungle interrogation, he was eventually handed over to the Mankayane police, who laid charges of rape against him and arraigned him to appear before the Mankayane Magistrates Court.

Whipped

Eswatini News was shown a video of the brutal interrogation in which the suspect was dragged on the ground and whipped in the presence of the survivor. 

In the video, he admitted to the offence of rape and drug dealing and said he had been tempted by the devil to do it. 

However, the object of his investigators was to extract more information about his activities and other rape cases he had committed prior to the recent case. He was interrogated by the ‘no nonsense’ members of the Eswatini Stock Theft Operation Wanya Tsotsi, which is a division of a similar group from Mpumalanga  in South Africa.

A member of the Eswatini group told Eswatini News that he went to a local grocery shop at about 7.30am and while going about his business, a minor came crying loudly saying she had just been raped by a man who vanished into nearby forests.

“I immediately raised an alarm with members of Wanya Tsotsi and we launched into the forest for two hours, searching every nook and cranny for him. We finally found him at about 9.30am and brought him to an open field near the shops to ask him questions,” a member of the group who did not want to be named for safety purposes said.

After he was apprehended he was interrogated and made to answer to several questions.

Engaged

He said he was from a rural village called Ey’phunzini in SA, near Piet Retief and that he had bought the dagga at a Simelane homestead on the Eswatini side of the border. 

He alleged that he was engaged in the trade of buying and selling dagga for the past two years, as he bought it for E200 and sold it in SA for E500.

Responding to questions posed to him on the alleged rape incident, he said it was his first time to commit such an offence and that he was sorry about it. In the video the following conversation can be clearly heard:

Asker: Um’rape’lani (why did you rape her)

Suspect: Ngilingwengu Sathane (I was tempted by the devil) 

Asker: Umcalelani lo Sathane (Why are you provoking the devil)

Beating follows.

Asker: Why did you rob her of her money. Give it back to her.

Suspect: It’s not with me now. I don’t know what happened to it.

Beating follows.

The interrogators asked the minor who watched the whole questioning episode how much she had been robbed by the alleged rapist, and she said it was E50.

After the gruelling interrogation the suspect was made to give back the E50 to the girl. He was also asked if he would take responsibility if it was discovered that he impregnated her and he said he would.

Threatened

He was also asked to produce the knife which he had threatened to stab the girl with and he said he does not know what happened to it. The interrogators also demanded the rope with which he tied the girl’s hands while committing the act and he said he had used her jersey.

He was then bundled into a car boot and his head was washed with water in preparation for the ride to the police station.

Chairperson of the Eswatini Wanya Tsotsi Veli Shongwe confirmed the incident and said he was informed by members of his organisation that they had apprehended a suspected rapist and handed him over to the Mankayane police.

Shongwe said it was not the method of his organisation to use violence, but that when a suspect is apprehended, usually the scene attracts members of the public, some of who are very angry at the criminal incident. 

“Our members received a complaint from the survivor and they went all out in search of the suspect, whom they found in the thick forests separating Eswatini and South Africa. 

Investigation

They took him to the police station for further investigation and possible prosecution,” he said.

Shongwe said the formation of Wanya Tsotsi organisation had played a crucial role in fighting cross border crimes between the two countries.

“When we formed it, most of the prevalent crimes were stock theft, but later on we discovered that the organisation was actively involved in resolving all other related crimes along the border,” he said.

Confirmed

Chief Police Information and Communications Officer (PICO) Superintendent Phindile Vilakati confirmed the arrest of the suspect and said he had already appeared before the Magistrates Court in Mankayane pending further investigations. 

He said the suspect was charged with the Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence (SODV) Act.

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